Anita Joshua

It expresses confidence in Manmohan’s ability to address all “questions”

NEW DELHI: Two days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed there was no rift with the party over the India-Pakistan joint statement, the Congress on Monday broke its 10-day silence to express confidence in his ability to address all “questions, apprehensions and speculation” on the issue.

Early in the day, the Congress general secretary in-charge of the media, Janardan Dwivedi, issued a one-line statement; purportedly to end interpretation of the party’s silence on the issue as disapproval of the Prime Minister’s “unilateral” move to delink action on terror from dialogue and allow a mention of Balochistan in a joint statement with Pakistan.

In his statement, Mr. Dwivedi said: “The party is confident that when the Prime Minister speaks in Parliament on July 29, he will set at rest all questions, all apprehensions and speculation relating to the Indo-Pakistan joint statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt.”

Asked whether this meant the party was endorsing the joint statement, Mr. Dwivedi refused to answer, insisting that it had nothing further to say on the issue.

This line was followed by Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi later in the afternoon at a routine briefing where he refused to be drawn into saying “yes” or “no” to questions whether the party supported the joint statement.

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